Yesterday found me at the Art Institute with my friend Rebekah Meier. After the train ride into the city we hopped into a taxi to take us eight blocks east to Michigan Avenue. IF, the weather would have been better we would have walked it, hustling and rushing along like everyone else walks in the Windy City. The morning was drizzly, a bit chilly and yes, windy. I wanted to hop on a city bus and let Rebekah experience her very first ride on one, but we missed it and didn't want to wait.
It's been several years since my last visit to the Art Institute, as well as Rebekah's. There have been big changes or I should say additions to this attraction. After speaking with one of the receptionist at the front desk, we decided to start our visit there having lunch at the "Terzo Piano" restaurant in the new modern wing of the building. What an enjoyable time. It's a good size, open room with windows all around to view the institute campus and some of the city's skyline. Sleek lines everywhere within fit this modern addition to this famous facade.
The lunch was excellent. The menu is a modern Italian cuisine and chef, Tony Mantuano's philosophy is to use ingredients from local farms and farmers' markets and artisan producers who practice in a sustainable agriculture. Reading through the choices we both chose to have a pasta dish that included handmade fettuccine that was so yellow from the eggs used. Mixed within the dish were tender, baby fiddlehead ferns, chiffonade of ramps, several cubes of pancetta in a very light, almost invisible sauce, then topped with a sunny side egg. Delish!!!! We glanced at the dessert menu and went for it. Again, interesting and amazing choices. Rebekah had what was called, Chocolate financier, with porter reduction, coffee ice cream and caramelized bananas. My choice was Ricotta fritters with orange salad and chrysanthemum honey. We didn't leave a speck on any of the dishes.
So after that we headed to the new modern wing with three levels to explore. The Art Institute has been home to so many very famous art pieces. Works by Picasso, Chagall, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Matisse, Pollard, Woods, Toulouse-Letrac, Manet, Giacometti, Calder, Klee, Mondrian, Moore, Seurat, Dali, just to name a few.
You will find architectural pieces, folk art, furniture, early art from centuries ago. Art is all around in every form and medium and it's worth a visit. The new building now even holds the original trading room from the Chicago Stock Exchange.
To see and admire this vast collection of "art" was inspiring. To see them and realize the time when they were created, and the passion and thoughts, each artist must have had to create and express themselves at that moment of time is thought provoking. (At least for me.)
We took in most of the collections within the Art Institute and our legs were tired from the walking, but it was well worth it. When in Chicago - make a visit. Another wonderful aspect of visiting this place is it's location. It's just next door to Millennium Park and the Pritzker Pavilion to enjoy.
So then it was time to flag down a taxi and head back to the train station for the trip back to the "burbs".
There's nothing like a taxi ride during "rush hour" in Chicago!
Next trip's plans are to the Peninsula Hotel for afternoon tea, overlooking the "Mag Mile" and somehow get that bus ride in the city!